Hawks coming home to roost
Equity markets were trounced on the back of Global yields parading to multi-year highs Thursday. Indeed, it was less dovish Fed speak that continued to be the driver, and the BoE provided a hawkish bounty for good measure.
The ruckus in the bond pits these days appears hell-bent on marching towards 3 % 10Year UST yields much quicker than anyone had suspected which suggest equity markets will come under the hammer for some time to come. Yields are becoming the real storyline as a combination of tighter monetary policy and the US burdening deficit leading to more supply, suggests we have crossed a 2.75 % 10Y UST bridge of no return, and the ride could get bumpier for equity investors.
The issue is not so much the 3% level but rather the pace that Bond yields have been rising in the US that is sending the markets into disarray. The rapidity of the moves has caught the markets by surprise, and we are going through the predictable panicked repricing of most asset classes.
Crude prices continued to tank overnight as the commodity complex has suffered dearly due to the uptick in market volatility. But the toxic combination of rising US output and a stronger US dollar has nullified OPEC production cut momentum.
With the markets factoring in US crude production to continue hitting new record highs through 2018, the supply dynamics suggest a move below $ 60 WTI is in the offing.
Gold toppled to a five-week low after the Bank of England whispered a sooner and more substantial rate rises after revising their growth and inflation forecast. The quicker than expected shift on Central Bank Monetary Policy outlooks coupled with the rapid increase in US bond yields continues to dampen investor sentiment. However, Gold prices quickly recovered as the equity market drawdowns continue to attract risk off hedges while the Syria Standoff with Turkey is offering support on the geopolitical front.
The Australian Dollar
The rise in US bond yields has toppled the Aussie dollar and dented risk sentiment as global equity market continues to tumble.
Market volatility is weighing negatively on commodities, add in a dose of dovish RBA rhetoric, and therein lies the heart of the Aussie dollar woes.
Also, the Aussie was trampled on when USDCNH shot up from 6.3050 to 6.3750 as it seems that China is opening up more channels for outflows to slow RMB appreciation. (See below)
The Aussie dollar tends not to flourish in these types of markets.
The $ Bull in the China Shop: Chinese Yuan
The dollar bull was let loose in the China shop yesterday as a confluence of events had trader paring back short US dollar risk from the morning fix.
The fix came in a bit higher than expected which usually causes a bit of a move higher but, it was the article in China Economic Daily that was creating the most noise as the report urges corporates to enhance FX risk management. (Nudge Nudge)
China has also resumed its Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership plan after a two-year halt, granting licenses to about a dozen global money managers that can raise funds in China for overseas investments. While it does not have a massive Foreign Exchange flow impact, and more symbolic than anything else, it is none the less suggestive that the Pboc is less sensitive to capital outflow
Given that positions were skewed short US dollar, the confluence of events had traders covering positions aggressively knowing that liquidity will be sure to dry up the closer we get to Lunar New Year.
The China trade numbers were perceived disappointing ( I have opposite view) which contributed to some currency negativity.
But from any logical perspective, it was hard to ignore the Mainland equity fire sales this week which certainly had a negative bias on currency sentiment
The Malaysian Ringgit
Negative regional currency signals abound.
The rapid repricing higher in US bond yields has taken investors by surprise. Moreover, with US yields looking to push higher, we could be in for a bit more pain before the markets find some solid footing.
Higher US yields are supporting the USD and weighing on global equity sentiment which is hurting overall regional risk appetite.
US record crude production continues to weigh negatively on oil prices.
The proximity of Chinese Lunar New year has traders paring back risk.
The market, at least for now, is hedging against the Fed potentially leaning more hawkish, which is explaining the uptick in USD, US Yields and lower equity markets.